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Lions Roar : January 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2011 39 weigh us down, invisibly wound us, and destroy our ability to be happy. knowing our mind not only leads to a happy life; it trans- forms every trace of confusion and wakes us up completely. to experience that awakened state is to know freedom in its pur- est sense. this state of freedom is not dependent on external cir- cumstances. It does not change with the ups and downs of life. It’s the same whether we experience gain or loss, praise or blame, pleas- ant or unpleasant conditions. In the beginning, we only glimpse this state, but those glimpses become increasingly more familiar and stable. In the end, the state of freedom becomes our home ground. Two Aspects of the Mind Buddhism talks about mind in different ways. there is the mind that is confused or asleep, and the mind that is enlightened or awake. another way to describe the mind is to talk about its rela- tive and ultimate aspects. the relative aspect refers to confused mind; the ultimate aspect is its enlightened nature. relative mind is our ordinary consciousness, our commonplace dual- istic perception of the world. “I” am separate from “you,” and “this” is separate from “that.” there appears to be a fundamental division within all of our experiences. We take for granted that good exists apart from bad, right apart from wrong, and so forth. this way of seeing tends to breed misunderstanding and conflict more often than harmony. the ultimate aspect of mind is simply the true nature of our mind, which is beyond any polarities. It is our fundamental being, our basic, open, and spacious awareness. Imagine a clear blue sky filled with light. Stuck in the conceptual World When we don’t pay attention, the conceptual world takes over our whole being. that’s a pretty sad thing. We can’t even enjoy a beauti- ful sunny day, watching leaves blowing in the wind. We have to label it all so that we live in a concept of sun, a concept of wind, and a What is this rebel buddha like? A troublemaker of heroic proportions, the voice of your own awakened mind.